Health researchers across Canada launch projects to mitigate impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on children, youth and families

News release

December 9, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the lives of families in Canada. Children have been impacted by many changes to their routines, environments, and activities, including online schooling, food insecurity, increased poverty, missed routine vaccinations and healthcare appointments, less access to mental health supports, and lack of access to trusted adults and caregivers, such as teachers and grandparents. Parents and families have been impacted by shifts to remote work, job losses, caregiving for family members, lockdowns and restrictions on sports and social activities. To fully support the recovery of families, we need more information on the impact of the pandemic on them, and we need to identify programs that have proven effective in supporting the needs of children, youth, and parents.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced that the Government of Canada is investing $13.7 million in 89 new COVID-19 research projects across the country. This includes 70 projects focused on understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children, youth and families. It also includes 19 projects focused on promoting vaccine confidence and encouraging vaccination, particularly among groups with low vaccination rates. Together, these projects will provide evidence to help governments, communities, and health care providers continue to manage the pandemic.

The Government of Canada is providing the funding for the research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The Michael Smith Health Research BC and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation are providing funds to support several projects on the impact of the pandemic on children, youth and families.

This new investment builds on the nearly $300 million that CIHR has invested in COVID-19 research since March 2020. This research spans everything from diagnostics and potential treatments to public health responses and communication strategies.


“Investing in science is essential to protect the health and well-being of Canadians during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. I congratulate the successful teams whose work will help to improve vaccine confidence and address the wide range of impacts this pandemic has had on Canadian families.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“No child or family has been untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are so pleased to be supporting diverse research teams from across Canada who will be leading important research aimed at understanding and mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children, youth and families. This research will play a critical role in building a healthier future for our children.”

Dr. Christine Chambers
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health

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Marie-France Proulx
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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